How to read disk partitions with Ext2/3/4 (Linux) while working on Windows

prosmatrivaem-disk-linux-v-windowsGood day!

Unfortunately, the “normal” version of Windows does not allow you to work with disks formatted in file systems (FS) Ext2, Ext3, Ext4 (used in Linux). It remains only to know their existence in disk management, but copying the file is already a problem…

What to do?

The most convenient and practical option (in my opinion) is to install special in Windows. a driver that will allow the operating system to work with Ext2/3/4 drives in the same way as if they were formatted in NTFS (for example). Those. any program under Windows (the same explorer) will be able to work with the disc in normal mode. Conveniently?

Now, about “what” to choose…


The content of the article

How to “read” partition information with Ext2, Ext3, Ext4 file systems

Method 1 (via a special driver)

Similar “drivers” are available from several manufacturers. I would distinguish the product from Paragon (link to the official site with the driver). Why:

  1. FS support: Ext2, Ext3, Ext4 (read + write); Btrfs, XFS (read only);
  2. after installing the driver, you don’t have to “do” anything: Windows just starts seeing drives with Ext4+;
  3. compatible with Windows 7/8/10 (plus there is a trial period, which is enough for the task that arose (usually)).
Paragon Driver

Paragon Driver

Please note that “unnecessary” disk partitions can be disabled. and don’t go up. The driver setting allows you to do this.

Main Window (Linux Filesystems for Windows by Paragon Software)

Main Window (Linux Filesystems for Windows by Paragon Software)

On the screenshot below I showed the explorer window: as you can see the section shows as “normal” – you can also copy/delete something on it.

This computer - disks with FS EXT4 appeared in explorer

This computer – disks with FS EXT4 appeared in explorer

👉 Added!

You can also find a free Ext2/3/4 file system driver for Windows 7/8/10* on Sourceforge (original name: Ext2Fsd).

I will note right away that on some Windows 10 operating systems this driver behaves unstable and does not allow reading information from the desired partition …

The Paragon product definitely wins…


Method 2 (via TC add-ons)

TC is an abbreviation for File Commander Total Commander (a kind of replacement for Explorer). There are many plug-ins for this program, and of course there is also FS to read Ext2/3/4!

I will show you step by step how to open similar disk partition in…

1) First install Total Commander itself. Link to official website.

2) Next, you need to download the DiskInternals Reader plugin from the official site. site (it comes in a ZIP archive – no need to extract).

3) After needing to run CT from administrator name (just a right click on the icon…). 👇

Run TC as Administrator

Run TC as Administrator

4) Then you need open ZIP archive with DiskInternals Reader plugin in Total Commander – then it will ask you to install the plugin. Of course you agree! 👌

Installing the plug-in

Installing the plug-in

5) Next, you need to close the TC and relaunch it as administrator. From the disc selection menu, select an option “Network plugins / FS” – then click on the icon DiskInternals Drive (see arrows 1, 2 on the screen below 👇).

DiskInternals Drive

DiskInternals Drive

6) In fact, a list of all disks will appear (including Ext2 / 3/4) – you can open them and copy the necessary information from them. Problem solved?! 👌

Files are readable, can be copied

Files are readable, can be copied


Method 3 (with LiveCD)

In general, this option, of course, does not apply to work on Windows … However, it is quite suitable for some one-time work (for example, copying and moving a folder with files). Also, an emergency LiveCD with Linux never hurts – all of a sudden… 👌

1) Linux distributions with LiveCD support – 👉 can be found in my selection

2) The ISO file downloaded with the desired version of the Linux distribution must be correctly written on the USB key.

3) Then it remains only to boot from this flash drive using the boot menu (called immediately after turning on the PC). If you choose a Linux distribution for a beginner, then working with it is very easy (no more difficult than with Windows Explorer).

Linux Mint loaded from LiveCD

Linux Mint loaded from LiveCD


Additions are welcome!

Good luck!


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